It was moving day for my daughter, son-in-law, and precious grand-baby. This meant that Grandma and Grandpa, seriously, I can’t believe grand is referring to me and my husband. It makes me sound so old, but I feel young. Like a teenager, even. Okay, too far. But get this, yesterday, a gentleman asked me, How old my baby was? Ha! Yes, I love it! This is my grand-baby, I proudly answered. Maybe next time I’ll play along and go on about how I don’t get any sleep.
On with my Grand-ma story…
On moving day we decided to take our grandson out for breakfast. I was beyond happy to team up with my husband on this mission. With our little 10-month-old joy in his stroller, we walked to a restaurant. I was completely engrossed in anything he did. My focus entirely on enjoying his presence. And then, the best part was watching him eat much of my breakfast.
Sharing food with loved ones is on the highlight reel of my life. I mean really, what’s better than experiencing great food with great people? I don’t need to vacation to Italy just eat mostaccioli with me and let’s save on travel costs. To say I was in my Hay-Day watching my little grandson put down my omelet, pancake, and some of my husband’s hash browns would be a total understatement.
I felt pure joy.
Food and joy seem to go together for me, can you tell? As I watched with elation a thought occurred to me.
How do you give your husband attention and focus when you’ve got little ones to care for?
How did I do that? How did I maintain my marriage through the all-consuming season of caring for and raising my children? Raising a child is hard, and it requires a level of energy and endurance unlike anything else. It requires all out grit. If you’re going to make it to the euphoric empty nest years you’ve got to run like a marathoner. But to have those euphoric years you’ve got to maintain your marriage while you’re running your parental marathon.
How do you give parenting the dynamism is requires and give the crucial attention needed to your spouse?
On this particular grandparent day, I was grossly reminded of how difficult the tug of war between children and spouse. Straight up, with transparent honesty, my grandson was way more amusing than my husband was that day. So much so that even my physical person was turned and at-attention toward my little 10-month-old eating buddy on this glorious grandbaby vacation spectacular.
How does one maintain a marriage through the kid years?
- Intentionality, like the center of a bullseye – To maintain a healthy and dynamic marriage you’ve got to be intentional about giving your spouse attention—even when you don’t feel like it. I know our kids can be way cuter and more amusing than our spouse through certain seasons, but we’ve got to maintain a focus like we focus on the center of the bullseye during a game of darts.
- Each day plan time to focus on your spouse – Yes, put time with your spouse on the calendar if need be. Deliberately carve out time to focus only on them.
- Understand the dynamic and pull, and realize it’s normal – The pull is real! I felt it throughout my raising kids years and still sometimes today. We have a saying in our children’s ministry: “Stop, think, and make the wise choice.” Even as adults this is a good moto to live by. With regard to our marriage and/or most important relationships, we need to…“Stop, think, and make the wise choice.” Does the laundry, lawn, email really need to be done today? Or can we prioritize a person?
- Remember that your marriage relationship is the most critical parental relationship – If we are to raise children in a home where they feel safe and secure, what they see transpire between Mom and Dad is a critical factor. Chances are your children will be married for longer than they are in your home. What we model matters.
In life, many people will be “fighting” for your attention. We must prioritize where we put our focus and energy.
Grand-baby did indeed return to Mom and Dad and I was able to go back to being the wife my husband deserves, but for the time, focusing on my gulping-engaging-delightful-bubbly grandson was a party I want to attend over and over.
Love with your time and attention.
Join Lucille Williams and her pastor husband, Mike, on August 26th as the key note speakers for a parenting conference hosted by University Christian Church. For details go to Lu’s speaking page. Order Lu’s book “From Me to We: A Premarital Guide for the Bride- and Groom- to- Be” today or pick a copy up wherever books are sold. Want to subscribe to Lu Says? Simple. Give us your email and get regular updates.